How to Do Holiday Shopping in Assisted Living

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 14 December 2012

Most assisted living communities provide regularly scheduled trips to area grocery stores, malls, the post office, and other essential spots. At this time of year, additional transportation opportunities are typically offered for residents to complete their holiday shopping. For seniors who can no longer drive or who do not have family or friends living nearby, these trips are especially appreciated.

Some residents may be physically limited though, and therefore would not be able to shop without assistance once they arrived at the store. Depending on the staffing levels at the assisted living community, such assistance may be provided. However, most communities simply provide a drop-off and pick-up.

If the senior living community has a gift shop or general store, it is typically stocked with special items for the season, making it easier for those who cannot travel outside of the community to purchase gifts. In some cases, an assisted living home will open its doors to local vendors, artists, or small businesses to sell their goods in a dedicated space within the building. The plethora of online shopping opportunities available today are also helpful for homebound seniors, provided they have access to a secured computer. (Read this post for safe online shopping tips.)

Your turn: How does your loved one in assisted living get his/her holiday shopping done?


There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Sarah says,

    Seniors who do their shopping outside of the assisted living communities gain opportunities to socialize with people other than those they see every day. Just like every other human being they need that time to socialize. But, alas, as you had mentioned, not every senior is capable of participating in the holiday shopping scene (for all the reasons you stated).

    People shopping online is becoming more popular. (All you have to do is turn on the news this time of year to hear that e-commerce is at an all time high.) I believe this is the way to go for those seniors who are homebound and do not have family or friends to assist them when they want to go shopping. BUT, in my experience some of the seniors are still a little leery of the new technology and are easily taken advantage of. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there would be some volunteers to help teach and guide today’s seniors though the online shopping process so they could be safe online and still participate in the holiday festivities?


    on 16 December 2012 / 7:58 AM

  2. That is an excellent point, Sarah! I hadn’t even thought of that, but you’re right, the extra opportunities for socialization with others is a wonderful benefit. You’re right too about the online shopping piece — there are benefits to it (like the convenience and the ability of the individual to do their own shopping instead of having to give a list to their children) but there are also risks, and it’s not something that all seniors are comfortable with. I think your idea is a fantastic one! And it could be easily done, as many communities offer computer classes or have volunteers seeking ways to help. I love it!

    Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing your comments/thoughts. It’s much appreciated, Sarah!


    on 17 December 2012 / 11:06 AM


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